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Faculty Roles in Simulation

This is more information from the white paper Challenges of Implementing Healthcare Simulation in Community Colleges. For our first summary of this white paper, see our article on funding challenges for community colleges. Any quoted percentages are from the surveyed institutions. For more information, or to view the white paper, see the link at the end of the article.

Simulation faculty at community colleges face challenges regarding their roles as teachers and simulation facilitators. In addition, while research is important so institutions have data to support simulation efforts, limited support exists for community college faculty participation in conferences, research, and publication.

Faculty Roles

Full-time faculty roles at the surveyed institutions included clinical instruction, clinical time, skill laboratory teaching, and related responsibilities. Over half of the responding faculty members (61%) carry a full time teaching load, and spend additional time in simulation activities. Thirty-two percent receive release time for simulation activities. Hours beyond contracted hours for simulation (set-up, break-down, writing scenarios, evaluating, standardized patient recruitment, and so on) ranged from 1 to 3 hours to up to 10 hours a week.

In terms of education to perform simulations, faculty and staff at community colleges report that they receive some type of education, with only 3.9 percent reporting a complete lack of structured training programs. Forty percent of the training is formal (classes, workshops, certifications), while 86 percent is informal. A slight majority (51%) attend formal education sessions twice a year, while about 20 percent say education is offered on an “as needed” basis.


Research at community colleges is conducted at less than half of the respondents’ simulation centers or laboratories. If research is conducted, it is informal or action research, and very little of that gets published. Most community college faculty face barriers to participate in research activities. They are expected to spend most of their workload involved in classroom teaching. Very few community colleges encourage engagement in scholarship activities.


“All simulation faculty completing the survey belong to at least one simulation organization.” The majority belong to only one organization, with less than 40 percent of the respondents belonging to two or more. One of the barriers is membership fees, and another obstacle is conference fees. More than half of community college simulation faculty pay out of pocket for membership fees, and most also pay at least partly out of pocket for conference attendance.

Organizations for Nursing Faculty

Many organizations exist for nursing faculty. A few are listed below, and many local chapters exist as well.

American Nurses Association (ANA): Educators can get teaching and certification resources from the ANA Enterprise. A membership in this association includes access to complimentary publications that feature the latest in nursing knowledge and scholarship.

National League for Nursing: The NLN is the premier organization for nurse educators, offering professional development, teaching resources, research grants, and more. With 40,000 individual and 1,200 institutional members, the NLN is comprised of nursing education programs across higher education and health care.

Society of Simulation in Healthcare (SSH): The purpose of SSH is to serve a global community of practice enhancing the quality of health care. SSH is a leading interprofessional society that advance the application of simulation in health care.

International Nursing Association for Clinical Simulation and Learning (INACSL): INACSL aims to advance the science of healthcare simulation.

SimPOW, the Simulation Alliance of Pennsylvania, Ohio, and West Virginia: SimPOW is a loose alliance of healthcare simulation professionals offering an open invitation to any of their lunchtime conferences, which take place quarterly.

This white paper was presented to the Society of Simulation in Healthcare (SSH) and the International Nursing Association for Clinical Simulation and Learning (INACSL) by the Nursing Section Community College Workgroup. To view a copy of the PDF of this white paper, see this link.

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January 3, 2019
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Posted in Simulation in Nursing